Cover of Darkness
After what seemed like endless searching, Eugene has finally found his father! Leonard is shocked that Eugene is alive, having been told by Gobir that he died in a train crash when he was seven. Eugene begins trying to introduce Leonard to everyone at Whit's End and spooks his father, who runs away.
Eugene contacts Gobir, who tells Eugene that Dalton Kearn, an archaeologist friend of Eugene's parents, tasked him with retrieving Eugene from the train station. Dalton had sent for Eugene in hopes that threatening Leonard with Eugene's safety would force him to help Dalton with a dig site. When he reached the train station, Gobir was told that the train crashed with no survivors. He told Leonard and Thelma, but they were immediately kidnapped by Dalton and forced to work on his new dig. Eugene concludes that his father is in disguise to hide from Dalton - that he is still on the run.
When Eugene closes Whit's End that evening, Leonard is waiting outside for him. Leonard tells Eugene that he originally came to Odyssey to visit Hiram Meltsner, who had unfortunately passed away before Leonard's arrival. Leonard also tells Eugene that, while in Africa, he and Thelma had another son named Everett, who also died in Africa. Eugene attempts to connect with his father but Leonard is too afraid for them to spend much time together in the open. He fears for his and Eugene's safety since Dalton is still out there somewhere, posing a threat to them both.
Whit's research reveals that Dalton left Africa a month ago and that no one knows where he is. He could be anywhere - even Odyssey.
The next time Eugene sees Leonard (at a gas station) he reveals this information to Leonard. They have a short conversation in which Eugene shares his conversion to Christianity with his unimpressed father. They discuss Eugene's work with Hand Up; Leonard tells his son that he has visited the website and Eugene encourages his father to look at the Gallery page to see pictures of Eugene's work. Their conversation is cut short when Leonard decides it's too dangerous for them to spend more time together. Eugene expresses his frustration with the "brief snippets" of time they are able to spend together but his father is unmoved.
Late that night Katrina finds Eugene typing up a list of things to discuss the next time he sees his father. He and Katrina decide that family is always worth any risk. The next day Eugene asks Whit if he believes that Whit's resources can keep Leonard safe. Whit confirms that he believes that, with prayer, they can keep Leonard out of harm's way. Eugene posts a message on the gallery page of his website. He visits the library to see if Leonard is using the computers there to access the Internet. Leonard is there, chiding Eugene for taking the risk of trying to contact him on his website. He encourages Eugene to take down his website completely, citing the known risk from Dalton. Refusing to live his life in fear, Eugene tries to convince Leonard to come stay with himself and Katrina, using Whit's ample resources and connections to help ensure their safety. Longing for a relationship with his father, Eugene begs Leonard to take the risk to be with him. Leonard refuses to see Eugene suffer the way he was forced to watch Thelma suffer in Africa. He says he will not allow Dalton to imprison him again. Eugene retorts that Leonard is still in prison and hands him some items from Eugene's life - award ribbons, pictures, report cards - trying to connect with him - and tells his father that he will be ready for a relationship when Leonard is.
After looking through Eugene's things, Leonard returns to Whit's End. He teasingly chides Eugene for a "tardy" mark on one of his school reports and asks if he can meet Katrina. Struggling, he tells Eugene that he trusts him. Eugene assures his father that he will, with the help of God, keep them safe.
Meanwhile, Dalton Kearn, on the phone with a henchman, says that he has no leads as to Leonard's whereabouts, but that he intends to find him.
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|Garvey Hiram Meltsner||Leonard Meltsner|
|Thelma Meltsner||Leonard Meltsner|
|Everett Meltsner||Eugene Meltsner|
|Armitage Shanks||Katrina Meltsner|
|Millie Shanks||Katrina Meltsner|
- This episode begins immediately where #595: “A Time for Action, Part 2” left off. However, Grady McKay seems to have mysteriously disappeared from the scene.
Gas Station Attendant: Pump number four, you're ready. Let me know if you need anything.
Eugene Meltsner: <under his breath> You could start by lowering your prices.
Gas Station Attendant: Excuse me?
Eugene Meltsner: Uh, nothing! Just lamenting the energy crisis!